REVIEW: Marketing and advertising news in the week’s press

Amazon’s vice-president of Europe, Simon Murdoch, has quit the online bookseller abruptly. A spokeswoman said he had left to ’pursue other interests’.

Amazon’s vice-president of Europe, Simon Murdoch, has quit the

online bookseller abruptly. A spokeswoman said he had left to ’pursue

other interests’.

Colleen Byrum, former head of customer service for Amazon in the US, has

taken over as interim general manager. Marketing

Barrington Lorains Johnson has been appointed to handle Littlewoods’

pounds 5 million account following a four-way pitch against J. Walter

Thompson Manchester, RSCR Direct Marketing and Different. BLJ will work

on the Index Extra and Littlewoods stores and catalogue businesses.

Marketing Week

The Radio Authority has imposed its biggest-ever sanction on the

Oxford-based local radio station, Oxygen FM, issuing a fine of pounds

20,000 and shortening its eight-year licence by two years, after the

station fabricated live on-air programming to deceive the regulator.

General release

Scottish Media Group is planning to increase its stake in the breakfast

TV company, GMTV. SMG, which has a 20 per cent stake in the company,

would gain control of GMTV if it were to buy the 25 per cent stake owned

by Walt Disney. Financial Times

Animal rights activists are planning a campaign in the UK against

McDonald’s, using shock imagery including a skinned cow’s head. The ads

are for the pressure group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,

which claims it has already booked poster sites and press ads in the US.


Vodafone Airtouch has confirmed that it is in talks with Bell Atlantic

about a future partnership, which could range from rebuilding operation

links to a merger of the companies’ US arms. Any deal faces commercial

and regulatory hurdles which could take up to a year to resolve. The


IPC Magazines’ new internet venture, IPC Electric, has appointed a media

director to oversee the editorial content of the women’s network to be

launched later this year. Hilary Burden has previously been deputy

editor of Cosmopolitan and editor of New Woman in Australia. General


Somerfield has approached Safeway about a pounds 4 billion merger in an

effort to combat aggressive competition in the supermarket sector.

Safeway, however, has rejected the offer, saying it would not be in its

shareholders’ interests. The Independent

ONdigital has said that it will consider backing a TV venture headed by

its former director of programmes, Ashley Faull, in a move designed to

halt the loss of senior staff. Faull is looking to set up a company

making interactive programmes for TV and the internet. The Guardian

Following the demise of the Oxo family, new advertising for the brand

will feature a young couple enjoying a sexy romp. Five ads through J.

Walter Thompson will be piloted as part of a radical departure from

Oxo’s traditional advertising. The Sun

The launch last week of the BBC’s free internet service, which will

compete against Freeserve and Net-scape Online, has been criticised by

competitors and public bodies. BBC Worldwide’s chief executive, Rupert

Gavin, has said no public funds would be used to finance General release.